With the Olympics now wrapped up in Brazil, we saw our fair share of athletes making contact with one another… from swinging elbows in basketball, flying field hockey sticks, nasty cycling crashes and, of course, direct hits from boxing gloves. It’s imperative that the athletes from all over the world learn to protect their teeth. Especially if they want that golden smile when being honored on the podium.
Let’s examine how they do it. First things first. The mouth is a “window” to the rest of the body, and recent studies have shown a direct connection between poor oral health and systemic diseases as well as conditions like diabetes, pneumonia, and even heart ailments. So it is quite clear that a healthy body needs a healthy mouth as a starting point.
According to an IOC report, the International Olympic Committee makes the best efforts possible to preserve the health and safety of the athletes during both training and competition. However, studies at a number of previous Olympic Games have shown that, while the athletes exhibit the highest levels of training and conditioning, their dental health was often found to be at or below the average level for the general population.
There are many possible reasons for this. Often, the financial costs of obtaining proper dental care are difficult to manage within the limited budget of an athlete. Athletes with their busy schedules may find it difficult to schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings. Not to mention, necessary treatments like fillings or removal of wisdom teeth might be delayed for fear of interfering with training schedules or competition.
What can they do?
If the worst happens
Should you lose a tooth during training or competition, gently rinse it off and put it right back in to the socket. The tooth will have the best chance of successfully reattaching if you put it back within five minutes of coming out. If you can’t replace the tooth in the mouth, try putting it in a cup of cold milk and get to a dental professional or hospital as soon as possible (ideally within 30 minutes).
Should reattachment not be possible, you’ll be surprised to learn of the dental implant options you find from the professionals at The Wagner Centre.
Dr. Rebecca Wagner
129 Chambers Hill Dr.
Chambersburg, PA 17201
Tuesday: 9AM – 4PM
Wednesday: 9AM – 4PM
Thursday: 7:30AM – 3:30PM
Friday: 7:30AM – 3PM